Google merging Maps and Waze teams as a cost-cutting measure

  • In recent months a number of big tech companies have laid off employees in a bid to stay profitable.
  • Google is hoping to avoid such cuts by merging its Maps and Waze teams, but keeping the applications separate.
  • 500 people from the Waze team are set to join the Google Maps division later this week.

With the crypto winter spilling over into a tech winter, a number of high-profile companies have either instituted hiring freezes or laid off employees en masse. Hoping to avoid such measures is Google, which according to reports this week is looking to merge two teams from navigation platforms it owns – Google Maps and Waze.

Detailed by the Wall Street Journal (paywall), Google is said to be making the move in order to limit duplication of works across both the Maps and Waze teams. That said, the company still intends to keep both applications separate despite choosing to merge the teams that work on them.

“Google remains deeply committed to Waze’s unique brand, its beloved app and its thriving community of volunteers and users,” an unnamed spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal in its report.

There are also no layoffs planned at the time of writing, although current CEO Neha Parikh is said to be leaving her role after a transition period, as noted by Engadget.

As the publication explains further, ever since Google purchased Waze back in 2013 for $1.1 billion, the two maps applications have been sharing features, with traffic data landing on Google Maps and search functionality finding its way to Waze.

With an estimated 151 million monthly active users, it remains to be seen for how much longer Google will choose to keep the two apps separate. As we have seen in the past, the company is famed for rolling out new features and applications, only to kill it shortly thereafter.

That said, in the nine years since it was acquired, Waze has been left to its own devices by Google. It will be interesting to see whether that changes now that both teams are working under the same metaphorical roof.

[Image – Photo by Tamas Tuzes-Katai on Unsplash]


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